Monday, May 29, 2006


Surfin' USA

Ahh... Memorial Day in Sunny Southern California: the first true weekend of summer. I always forget that I live in a veritable tourist destination; but this weekend I remembered why. The temperature was in the 80s, a light breeze was blowing off the ocean, and the sunsets (and the surfers) were gorgeous. It was quintessential LA.

The best part though was that one of my closest friends from college, Jill, came to visit. On Saturday we drove down to the sleepy seaside town of San Clemente for some relaxed festivities, which include a barbeque, a bonfire, and the Pistons game. Sunday we did some sightseeing, venturing to Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Hollywood, even stopping off for some window shopping on Rodeo Drive. It's been a few years since I last did that, so it was amusing (for a few minutes). Yesterday, there was a street fair in Hermosa Beach featuring a bunch of local artisans; the fair reminded me a lot of the Ann Arbor Art Fair.

So, good times. Back to work today, but since I only have SIX WEEKS LEFT, I'm glad to be here.

Since this is a career-oriented blog, I'd better speak to you about work. Last week was FANTASTIC. I went to Houston for a contractor review with NASA. It was pretty interesting to interact with the customer. To me, "NASA" had always been an esoteric idea ; it was cool to actually meet the people that I had heard so much about. BUT, THE COOLEST THINGS were that I got a behind the scenes tour of Mission Control from a guy who used to be a flight director, and I got to fly a simulator with an astronaut. That was pretty awesome. The tour of Mission Control was really neat because Bryan took me to the old Apollo control room, the shuttle control room, and the Space Station control room. The last was the only one currently supporting a crew. The crew had actually just downlinked some photos of an erupting volcano in the Aleutian islands; they had just passed over Alaska on a descending node. Pretty spectacular. (I'll post a couple of pictures of Mission Control later today)

It's amazing. I'm still like a kid in a candy store when it comes to my job. I'm constantly amused by it, which is how I know I'm doing the right thing. Business school will be great, but I'm still going to want to work on space afterward.

Speaking of HBS, I got an apartment: one of the coveted on campus two-bedrooms. This is huge. Now I just have to figure out how I'm going to get the monstrous amount of stuff that I have accumulated back to the East Coast. (but that's a musing for another time).

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